TV Ad Spend Weekly: Pizza Hut picks up NFL deal where Papa John's drops off

Brands continue to invest heavily in above-the-line content, and television is still seen as the place brands want to be. Each week, in partnership with Kantar Media, The Drum looks at which brands have been investing the most in newly-launched creative on US national broadcast and cable TV.

Football season is officially back and national TV ad revenue for opening week reflects that. Indeed, expenditures increased by 53% compared to the previous week due in large part to advertising during football. Overall spending on national TV reached $1.2bn, with $344m placed during NFL games.

Spend on new advertising saw even bigger increases, more than doubling to reach $254m. More than half of this ($153m) was allocated to NFL games with advertisers trying to get their new commercials in front of a mass audience.

As the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL, and partner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pizza Hut is ready for game day. The chain released new commercials this week featuring Steelers fans and players, positioning itself as more than just pizzas delivered.

One spot features an enthusiastic girl watching a football game with her parents. The commercial tells viewers “We’re that moment you realize you’re raising her right” as she breaks a Pizza Hut box and cheers so loud that even the players stop to look at her.

The other spot, featuring Steelers wide receivers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, states “We’re an end zone dance at your doorstep”.

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Trying to reach NFL fans, Pizza Hut placed 79% of its total national TV spend for the week during NFL games. All spots that aired during games were new commercials.

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This data is part of ongoing reporting released on a weekly basis with Kantar Media using its AdScope tool.